Greens pledge to abolish Ofsted and SATs testing

The Green Party has pledged to abolish Ofsted and bring in continuous assessments to replace SATs testing, as part of an £8 billion education package.

The party is also proposing to scrap tuition fees, provide free school meals for all children, and have a qualified counsellor in every school and college.

Co-leader Carla Denyer said the Greens are providing an “A-star offering” which is “fully inclusive and costed”.

She said: “To help relieve the stresses in our education system and improve wellbeing, for both teachers and pupils, Greens want to replace high-stakes formal SATs testing in primary and secondary schools with a system of continuous assessment, and abolish Ofsted.

“We also want to see a massive boost in funding for special needs provision in mainstream schools, and for a qualified counsellor in every state school and college.

“No child must be left behind by poverty. Opportunities must be available to all.

“Alongside scrapping the two-child benefit cap and uplifting Universal Credit by £40 a week, Green MPs will push for all children to be provided with a healthy school meal every day – free of charge.

“Greens also believe that a more holistic education, where arts and vocational subjects are treated equally within the curriculum, will help more students thrive.

“We also want children to learn about the climate and nature crises to equip them for the challenges ahead and so they can be part of the solution.”

Ms Denyer, who recently received an endorsement from the Love Actually star Hugh Grant, added: “We don’t pretend there’s a magic money tree lurking in the playground. We are being honest.

“Generating the billions needed to invest in our education system – including giving hard-working teachers a much-needed pay uplift – requires reforming our tax system to make it fairer and greener.

Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer
Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“Our A* offering is fully inclusive and costed. We know it gets top marks.

“Green MPs will push a Labour government to take some lessons from our manifesto and offer better funded support for both students and teachers.”

Under the party’s proposals, £2.5 billion will go to repairing schools with Raac concrete, £5 billion for children with special educational needs and disabilities, and £12 billion to “skills and lifelong learning for further education”.

Ms Denyer said: “Post-16 education and training opportunities must be better designed to support lifelong learning.

“Greens will seek to restore the education maintenance allowance to financially support young people to extend their studies.

“Marketisation has been disastrous for higher education, pushing universities into financial crisis and burdening a whole generation of students with debts.

“So elected Green MPs will push to end tuition fees and restore maintenance grants.”